Yesterday my friend came over so I could glam her up for an event, as is tradition. She comes over before one of her fancy galas and we pop a bottle of bubbly and gab while I toddler-in-tiara her like the tyrannical stage mother I repress deep down inside me. Her teenage daughter was in tow yesterday and I was thrilled to find out I’ve been appointed her new Godmother. I even baptized her with a little Prosecco to make it official. Last night I sat down and wrote this to her and I’m sharing it here with permission.
We’re getting a late start at the godparent thing. I’m 32 and you’re 15 but somehow I feel like this is the exact right time. I met you when you were itty bitty. Before I was someone’s mother or even someone’s wife, I was your mom’s coworker and friend. In large part, I learned how to be a good Mommy by watching yours.
There are some things I want to tell you in no specific order.
- Please don’t drink in high school, but especially don’t drink everclear, as no good will come from it. DO listen to the band Everclear, specifically the album So Much For The Afterglow. Internalize the lyrics to Normal Like You and Everything To Everyone. These songs will help you through the weird feelings.
- Don’t get in a hurry to grow up. This sounds boring and I already hate that I said it, but let me put it this way, no one past 25 is like, “Ugh I’m just really looking forward to being OLDER, you know?” I once heard the phrase “youth is wasted on the young” and it’s one of those bitchy things women say about young girls that’s annoyingly true.
- Don’t over pluck your eyebrows.
- Don’t complain about your body. Work on it if you want, be the best version of yourself blah blah, but don’t say mean things about it. This sounds simple, but it takes practice.
- Decide which people in your life are worthy of your friendship and prioritize them. Be more discerning on the character of your girlfriends than your boyfriends; the girlfriends will be around longer.
- Apologize willingly and without excuses. Then move on. It shows integrity and self-acceptance in a way that scares the hell out of most people and there’s real power in that.
- There is no rational way to classify people as “good” or “bad.” You’ll be much better off if you can classify people as “yours.” “Your people” will be good and bad depending on the day, but at least you’ll be in agreement about what that means.
- Watch old movies and listen to old music. The reason people are so enchanted by the “older” things is because those things stood the test of time. The songs you love now will be the same songs you love in 15 years. They will transport you and connect you to other people in a profound way. (See: Everclear)
- Be the star of your own show, not a supporting role in someone else’s.
- Please don’t name your future child Stanley. Ask anyone who’s ever seen Will & Grace. Also, watch Will & Grace.
You’ve impressed me since you were a quick-witted little curly-haired girl coloring on your menu at On The Border at Oak Park Mall. You’re not just anyone, Brookie, you’re wise and classy and special and cool. And you have your Mom and her Mom to thank for that.
I hope that as you and I continue to grow up together, I can add to this list and you and your friends keep coming over to quote Mean Girls and Clueless and to give me the 411 on the hot jams because you know you girls keep me young. Oh, God love ya.